(21) There Will Always Be Some Pain Remaining…

The tears have been cried, the loss was mourned, but there is always some pain remaining…

One moment you sit with fellow students talking about bereavement and grief at the loss of loved ones and the sadness and grief after a divorce … Hey, but isn’t there also a form of bereavement after a separation? Actually there is, I answer thinking of the period before, during and after my own divorce. Could you write about this as a contribution to the blog, is the next question. WOW! That question wasn’t one I would expect, but I decide to do it anyway.

My divorce was a choice of my own. I couldn’t anymore sustain the way I lived together with my ex-husband. A very long time I thought that I should remain in an unhappy marriage for the children only. Eventually the proverbial last straw that breaks the camel’s back and I left with my children. It was the beginning of a period full of misunderstanding, pain and grief. Especially because my ex-husband and the people around me didn’t see that coming. Wasn’t everything going well?

The sympathy of the people around me were specifically directed to my ex-husband. He was the party that was left and he had right to his grief. I was the “witch” who had left him and took his children away from him; for my pain and sorrow was no space. I had to and wanted to be strong for my children and had also to arrange all kind of practical things. Hence, there was also no opportunity for me for processing all those emotions that resulted from the divorce. How do you explain a feeling of relief and freedom while at the same time there was also the feeling of grief? Just don’t think about it and continue with living.

Then it happened, about 2½ years ago. By that time I was more than two years separated. The kids were happy again, I felt secure both in my home and with my new partner who acted as a genuine father for my children. The relationship with my ex-husband was settling down. In this apparent calm, everything came back and I collapsed completely. From one day to another, I had panic attacks, agoraphobia, and I started to hyperventilate. No idea what was going on! I thought everything was going so well…

The doctor prescribed me medication and advised to take rest. Eventually I met a natural healer, who asked me whether I had mourned the loss of my marriage…

And then the tears came. I never knew I had so many tears. I even cried in my sleep! Only after 2.5 years, I gave myself the space and time to grieve this loss, the loss of a marriage and a husband. Only then I realized that my ex-husband wasn’t the only one who had lost something and I could mourn a marriage that once had been very well. Everyone mourns in his own way. Mine was primarily one of self-reflection and looking at the beautiful parts of the past. It was a long and tedious process, but eventually I could forgive myself and my ex-husband for the death of our marriage. Only then I could see him as the man he was with all his light and dark sides.

And then during the tarot course the card “Swords III” came up and was discussed. A heart with three swords through it, with clouds and rain in the background. The tears have been cried, the loss was mourned, but there is always some pain remaining…

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